Hands, photo by Bianca de Blok, Netherlands, self awarenessAs the saying goes – when you point a finger at someone, three are pointing back at you. How often is it easier to blame someone else about their behaviour without realising that what is truly annoying us is projection of our own unacceptable behaviour onto them. Projection needs to be considered first when we are upset by someone else’s behaviour, and only then if we are satisfied that we are not being reminded of our own shortcomings, can we give others honest feedback about their’s. In doing so we are role models to others, especially our children.

my mother used to accuse me of lying
at every opportunity and
as a child not only was I so offended
but I went to great lengths to
prove I was being honest
as I grew I realised that
my mother lied so easily
and would get so annoyed with
my need to be honest when
she was trying to spin a tale
so her projection onto me
about her lying tendencies
kept her in denial about
her own behaviour and guilt

Wedding flowers

Orchids, photo by Justyna Furmanczyk, Rotterdam, Netherlands, traditional eleganceWedding flowers are such a lovely touch for a marriage ceremony. Once a small bouquet was thrown by the bride for the single females to catch.? It was believed that whoever caught the bouquet would be the next to get married.? Nowadays it is possible to have an elaborate arrangement which the bride keeps and has framed as well as a smaller version to throw for the single women to try and catch.

my daughter has her wedding bouquet
which is dried, pressed and framed
hanging on a wall in her house
it is so gorgeous and it always
reminds me of the day they
celebrated their marriage
even though on the funny side
I had tripped and landed on
my knees as we were about
to have family photos taken
I often wonder what brought
me to my knees, or was it
just clumsy of me?

Searching for the high

Party Balloons, photo by Julie Elliott, Wichita Falls, United States,  never enoughAddiction can be described as searching for the high. We are all prone to addictive behaviours but people who are afflicted with addiction are more susceptible to compulsive repetitive behaviours. Many of these addictions are life threatening, especially when the person is driven to excess in order to get the high or bliss. This level of compulsion drives the person to becoming careless and overlooks safety issues.

he chuckled as he spoke about
the party he went to
cocaine and ecstasy were plentiful
and alcohol too
they partied on till the early morning
he had avoided using drugs until this party
and in a moment of weakness
he said it got the better of him
life had been better without the drugs
but at the party he was searching for the high
and then the next day the misery followed
so I suggested that he just compare
how it was for him to have life without drugs
as against the madness he had due to using
and then choose the best option for having
the life he wants
he admitted that the road with drugs
is a downhill one full of problems

Love and intimacy

Beauty 4, photo by herbert sandoval, Guatemala,  Guatemala,  close togetherSome people spend a lifetime in relationships that are dysfunctional, either constantly arguing or amazingly superficial and boring. What is missing in these relationships is a combination of love and intimacy. This may mean making an effort to create intimate pastimes like massage sessions on a regular basis. This activity involves relaxation and touch which are so important to creating and maintaining love in a relationship, as well as contributing to a person’s wellbeing.

he said that his forte was massage
and she enjoyed every minute
then when it was her turn to reciprocate
she worried that her talents did not
lay in that area but
once she started to gently stroke his body
she was overcome by a feeling of wellbeing
and this made her feel as special as
when she was on the receiving end
giving can be as satisfying as receiving
and the closeness resulted in
love and intimacy beyond
what they had experienced before

Touch to stay alive

Danny and Me, photo by Joe DeCarlo, Sparksville, United States,  love therapyWithout touch babies have been known to die, that’s why attachment in the early years of childhood is so important. We need touch to stay alive. To touch and be touched is the necessity of life. That’s why one of the methods of torture or punishment has been isolation, it can make a person go crazy. It is important to teach children from a young age that sulking (withdrawal) is counter-productive to having their needs and wants met. Communicating what they are feeling is vital to their own wellbeing and future relationship development.

they argued constantly
from early morning and then
when he came home from work
late into the night
sometimes they wouldn’t talk for days
sulking so badly that you could
cut the air with a knife, so to speak
I often wondered how they managed
to get through the day in such an
atmosphere of bitterness and misery
with no touching
then after 13 years they divorced
and took their dysfunctional behaviour
to their new separate relationships
which did not last long either
we need touch to stay alive
in more ways than one

Simple and quaint wedding cake

Marriage Cake, photo by Stenio Silva, Sao Paulo, Brazil,  symbolic joy Here is another wedding cake which is representative of a traditional wedding cake with the bride and groom dolls on top. Yet it is simple and quaint for those who do not wish to have a many tiered wedding cake. As a celebrant I have seen many cakes. If you search you will always find what you like. This lesson also applies to everything in life.

a couple who came to me for
their wedding plans
turned out to be people who
had financial and emotional security
as well as fulfilling careers
they wanted a wedding which
would celebrate their loving relationship
without pomp and ceremony
a more personal event which
they could share with family
and close friends
so they wanted
a simple and quaint wedding cake
to fit the occasion

Marriage Cake, photo by Stenio Silva, Sao Paulo, Brazil, symbolic joy

Recovery through education

beer, photo by Arjun Kartha, Bangalore, Karnataka, India, sobriety, AAAddiction creeps up on a person before they realise it’s too late.? Then they can’t stop repeating the debilitating behaviour.? Becoming free of the grip of addiction is possible through education and an experienced helping hand.? So many have succeeded to be set free from such compulsion.? Recovery through education about the addictive process can only be achieved successfully with the support of others, especially those who have had the same experience and recovered.? You cannot do it by yourself, so reach out.

it was such a long hard struggle
and she tried over and over
each time the sobriety lasted
maybe a day or two
and then she had a drink
and it was a downward tumble again
she told me she was contemplating
suicide to get free of the torment
until she came into detox and
the support of Alcoholics Anonymous
she was so amazed at how many
successful people had reached the same
hopeless situation as she had done
and how they found recovery through education
because it’s not enough to just stop drinking
you need to deal with the feelings for which
alcohol is used to cover

Long term relationships and fun

Nuremberg's Fair 2, photo by Ana Schaeffer, Germany, happy peopleHow many times have we been reminded that people in long term relationships have managed to do so through ups and downs.? Long term relationships and fun go hand in hand.? So if we make sure that leisure and fun has a priority in our lives then we stand a better chance to have fulfilling relationships.

they were so much happier
when they went regularly
away on holidays together
nothing expensive
even if it was a weekend
at a good hotel
then money troubles happened
and so did the conflict between them
long term relationships and fun
was the incentive for them
to improve their situation

Nuremberg’s Fair 2, photo by Ana Schaeffer, Germany, happy people

Family cat

Gato 1, photo by Ivan Soares Ferrer, Embu, Brazil, purring delight We brought back a Siamese kitten from New Zealand and he settled nicely in our family. This family cat became a loved pet, lifting our spirits. Siamese cats, although aloof, are very talkative and some are very affectionate. When there is a pet in the family everyone learns the art of unconditional love, as well as how to live with grief.

our cat stopped eating and
just sat on the bed quietly
this was unusual so we
took him to the vet who
gave us the sad news
that he was seriously ill
and needed to be put to sleep
we said our goodbyes
and on the way home
the whole family cried
that’s how much that pet
was loved and totally missed


Thinking, photo by Bas van Bekhoven, Oosterhout, NBr, Netherlands, youth innocenceSome people believe in reincarnation and that the knowledge from past lives is in the unconscious mind to surface as wisdom beyond a person’s years. Others believe that such a notion is simply a belief in the supernatural which is unscientific. Then again I am more inclined to believe the notion that as we evolve as human beings, to a certain extent we inherit the thought processes experienced in previous generations. It is interesting how different notions attract different believers. Whatever we believe in, the main thing is that as long as it helps us treat others appropriately then we will avoid using crutches (addictions) to live our lives.

sometimes my grandchildren
who are all under 12 years of age
say the most amazing things
for their age, that is
and I wonder where all
that wisdom comes from
I mean – thoughts over and above
what they have learnt from us
a wisdom beyond their years
is it I wonder simply
that we underestimate
children’s way of thinking
just because they are so young?